Gogglebox original Chris Butland-Steed has announced he’s leaving the television show after 10 series.
He’s best known as one half of the Stephen and Chris duo who’ve been making us laugh since the show first aired five years ago.
The Brighton-based hairdresser quickly became one of the most popular faces on the show, who, along with his ex-partner, watched various programmes from the comfort of his sofa in Hove, West Sussex.
Posting a statement on Twitter, Chris said:
After 10 series, a wedding, and a helluva lot of takeaways, our lovely dogs and I have decided it’s time to say a very fond farewell to our Gogglebox family.
I’ve loved every minute of being on the show and will never forget all the amazing things it’s allowed me to do.
Since my wedding, it’s felt like there should be a new start, so I’m taking the plunge to see what’s out there!
I’m really looking forward to what the future holds, especially pursuing a career in TV, as I hope to show viewers I have many more talents. So, watch this space!
First and foremost I’d like to thank the fans for all their love and support (and selfies), Studio Lambert and Channel 4 for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and of course, Stephen.
I wish him and Mummy Pat all the very best on the show and I look forward to watching them every week. See you again very soon, I hope!
I’d like to announce I've decided to leave Gogglebox and am looking forward to the exciting adventures that lay ahead! Huge thanks to @C4Gogglebox @Channel4 for the amazing experiences I’ve had & wish cast & crew well. Massive thanks to the fans for their support! #watchthisspace pic.twitter.com/2T8JpA3Y7E
— Chris#Butland-Steed (@CButlandSteed) February 22, 2018
Gogglebox’s Baasit Siddiqui said he wished him ‘all the best’ in his future journey.
He took to Twitter to say:
Nooo! You’re one of the originals all the best man. Good luck in whatever else you do. [sic]
Nooo! You're one of the originals? all the best man. Good luck in whatever else you do xx
— Baasit Siddiqui #gogglebox (@baasitsiddiqui) February 22, 2018
His husband Tony also commented on his post to say:
My darling husband, to me, you have always been, and will always be, a superstar.
It is my total honour to share this amazing journey with you.
Here’s to our exciting future, my love! It’s gonna be so amazing! Love always xx
My darling husband, to me, you have always been, and will always be, a superstar. It is my total honour to share this amazing journey with you. Here’s to our exciting future, my love! It’s gonna be so amazing! Love always xx
— Tony Butland-Steed (@TButlandSteed) February 22, 2018
Chris is being replaced by Stephen’s mum, Pat, who’s been sitting in as a replacement for some time already.
She’ll be a permanent member when Gogglebox returns with a new series on Channel 4 tonight (February 23).
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) February 22, 2018
— C4 Gogglebox (@C4Gogglebox) February 22, 2018
This also sadly marks the first series after the death of beloved Leon Bernicoff, who passed away aged 83 following a short illness, just before Christmas.
The retired teacher and his wife June have been a staple on the show since it’s launch in 2013.
Channel 4 wrote in a statement:
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad news that after a short illness Gogglebox’s Leon Bernicoff passed away in hospital earlier today.
Leon and his wife June were the first members of the public to be cast for Gogglebox back in early 2013 and they soon grew to become much-loved voices during the course of the show’s 10 series to date.
Leon’s unique personality and sharp wit endeared him to fans of the show, as he contributed fully to Gogglebox’s reputation as a programme full of warm humour and unvarnished opinion.
To those of us that knew him personally, Leon was a man of unwavering principles who exerted a distinct paternal presence both on and off screen. He will be dearly missed by the entire Gogglebox family; cast and crew.
Looking forward to seeing the return of the show – won’t be the same without Leon though!